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A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction Hardcover – Aug 1 1977
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The second of three books published by the Center for Environmental Structure to provide a "working alternative to our present ideas about architecture, building, and planning," A Pattern Language offers a practical language for building and planning based on natural considerations. The reader is given an overview of some 250 patterns that are the units of this language, each consisting of a design problem, discussion, illustration, and solution. By understanding recurrent design problems in our environment, readers can identify extant patterns in their own design projects and use these patterns to create a language of their own. Extraordinarily thorough, coherent, and accessible, this book has become a bible for homebuilders, contractors, and developers who care about creating healthy, high-level design.
"A wise old owl of a book, one to curl up with in an inglenook on a rainy day.... Alexander may be the closest thing home design has to a Zen master."--The New York Times
"A classic. A must read!"--T. Colbert, University of Houston
"The design student's bible for relativistic environmental design."--Melinda La Garce, Southern Illinois University
"Brilliant....Here's how to design or redesign any space you're living or working in--from metropolis to room. Consider what you want to happen in the space, and then page through this book. Its radically conservative observations will spark, enhance, organize your best ideas, and a wondrous home, workplace, town will result."--San Francisco Chronicle
"The most important book in architecture and planning for many decades, a landmark whose clarity and humanity give hope that our private and public spaces can yet be made gracefully habitable."--The Next Whole Earth Catalog
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Most of the "patterns" described in A Pattern Language are similar in that people expect them and are comforted by them. In fact, Alexander refers to them as archetypes, which is a word that always interested me. To think that there are universally appealing features in the built environment that people never even consider throughout the building process is staggering. Have you ever seen or entered a place that felt cold and unwelcoming? Read this book and you'll be able to understand why.
It's the universal appeal of these archetypal patterns, as well as the timeless principles on which this book is based, that make this a classic in the architectural field. While A Pattern Language has withstood the test of time, I still have to file a complaint for just that reason. Here and there you'll read statements that make you think "Huh? Things aren't like that anymore...Read more ›
Having made the case for his system of architectural and social design in his earlier work, the author here goes on to formalize a system of 253 patterns, ranging in scale from towns down to benches. Patterns 1 through 94 define a town or community; numbers 95 through 204 define (groups of) buildings; and numbers 205-253 define a "buildable building". The individual patterns are themselves evocative and inviting, and cover a myriad of human social and environmental relationships: number 1 is Independent Region, pattern 2 is Distribution of Towns, 10 is Magic of the City, 57 is Children in the City, number 62 is High Places, number 63 Dancing in the Street, 94 is Sleeping in Public, 203 Child Caves, 223 Deep Reveals, 235 Soft Inside Walls, 253 Things from Your Life.Read more ›
For example, the pattern for Levels of Intimacy describes the problem that each house must accommodate different levels of familiarity and intimacy. We need spaces in our home to allow guests to enter and yet not be admitted to our most personal spaces. The design of a home must therefore allow for different levels of intimacy begining with the least intimate/more formal at the home entryway, and becoming more casual and intimate as you proceeded into family living, eating, and sleeping spaces.
This book also influenced software designers to produce analagous collections of design patterns for the software design field.
Most recent customer reviews
Not a bad read, some good points and patterns but it is a little outdated...Published 5 months ago by Cassandra Johnson
A book about town planning with the human community at its core. Good book with nice illustrations - the porch and its use in a house design. I highly recommend it.Published 5 months ago by Susan L. King
All of my designs are based on this bible of intuitively understood knowledge.Published on July 24 2014 by Lesley A. Turner
It took long time for me to buy this book. It is "must have" book. Foundation stone to good design and planing. It is easy to read.Published on May 17 2014 by Matus Chlepko
I've long loved the work of Sarah Susanka and find that this is both broader and even more detailed than her work. Read morePublished on May 16 2014 by Erin Thomson
This book has stood the test of time. His principles still stand some 40 years later. Now we can speak like our architect.Published on Feb. 4 2014 by Ms Suzanne
The front cover is black from the printing on the invoice. Should have folded the invoice differently or protected book.Published on June 8 2013 by Joanna Martin
this book was listed as required for a landscape design course I was taking. What a big, big disappointment. The book discussed design principles for structures. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2013 by COREY
Patterns of Home: The Ten Essentials of Enduring Design is the modern,
*reduced to what people want this minute*
( their home, not urban planning ),... Read more
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